Enjoying Sobriety

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from my husband letting me know that he was meeting our really good friends for some beers and wings at our neighbourhood pub and did I want to join them… Before I would have felt compelled to join because I would not have wanted people to think I was a drag now that I don’t drink. But yesterday I found myself doing a check-in: How was I feeling? Was this a good idea or a bad one? I realized that I was feeling hungry and tired after a long day. I let him know that I would continue with my plans for a healthy dinner but that he should go on ahead. Wow. Who is this woman? I will admit that I had a moment of feeling left out, but I did not allow myself to camp on that feeling for long. I grabbed my daughter and we went out for a super yummy dinner at our favourite Japanese restaurant. The food was great and the company even greater. We ran one more errand and then headed home. Once I arrived I did a second check-in. I felt good and wanted to visit with my husband and our friends. However, I wondered whether everyone would be too far gone on in their beer for authentic conversation to happen. Rather than ignore that possibility and forge ahead, I made a plan. An exit strategy. I packed some Yoga clothes and decided that if they were too far gone, I would say hello and then let them know I was just on my way to a yoga class.

I arrived at the pub and they were all really happy to see me. I think my husband was quite surprised as I have been way more honest about my boundaries and limits I am setting around protecting my sobriety. He knows things are different now and that my sobriety is the most important priority. The couple got up to visit the restrooms leaving dear hubby and I to chat privately for a few moments. He told me of an amazing conversation that unfolded when he informed our friends that I might not be joining them earlier that evening. He explained to our friends that he is pretty sure I am a life long non-drinker and that I am waaaay happier for it. He explained that I do not care to sit in a bar or restaurant for six hours while folks drank and got silly. My decision to NOT rush to the bar to keep everyone happy and okay about my non-drinking status provided a segue to an astonishing conversation. Our friends began asking what constitutes problem drinking and how do you know if you have a problem They wondered if they had problems!!! I was not even there but the authenticity of my sober life was noticed and the catalyst for an important discussion. I find that amazing. By being true to myself and not just doing what I thought my husband and friends wanted me to do (and possibly endangering my sobriety) which was rush to the pub to join them – a conversation happened. All I had to do was be real and look after myself. I did not even have to be there in body!

We sat for a while and visited. For the most part everyone was in *fairly* okay condition. After a while I did another check-in and realized I had been there long enough – plus a person can only drink so many sodas with lemon wedges before they begin to feel kinda water-logged – and told the group I was heading out. They all wanted to go as well. The best part – I had the honour of driving everyone home and getting them there safely. That is when I am most proud of myself – sober and responsible – but loud and silly too – not because of booze but because that is who I really am. I love my sober life – most days anyway…

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